Wednesday, February 20, 2013

She is my mom

      It’s been two weeks since my mom died. Fourteen days.  The first few days were spent in a family bubble.  We moved through our days, lifted by prayer, but oblivious to the world around us. Other’s carried on, but we didn’t.  I remember going to Walgreens on Friday morning.  Thirty hours after I sat at my mom’s bedside after she had passed.  I made a copy of a photo that was going to sit on her casket at her funeral.  No one at Walgreens knew my purpose, nor should any of them really cared.  I made the copy, paid for my purchase, and kept telling myself “Just make it to the car. You can cry in the car. You can cry in the car.”  And I did just that.  As soon as I closed my car door, I cried.  I looked at the picture and I cried.  Was all of this real? 

     The days leading up to the visitation and funeral are a blur of tears, memories, and the hope that I didn’t forget to feed my children.  Brent was here.  My sister and dad were never far.  We each had our moments of raw emotion…  The funeral service was beautiful. It’s purpose was to celebrate my mom’s life and it did just that.  She went to Heaven on a full service of prayer and song.  For most of the service I felt like I was hovering above myself.  I had one moment where I thought…are we really the family in the front row?  Is this really the funeral for my own mom?  By a gift from God I was able to speak words about my mom at the service.  This is what I shared:

     You are here with us celebrating the life of a woman we all know and love. She was a woman of many talents and touched so many people in her 61 years of life. It is a running joke in our family that “every body knows Patty” because she left a great impression on every person she came in contact with.
     For those of you who don’t know me, I am Kristie. I am one of the lucky two in this world to call Pat, my mom.
     Forgive me as I speak if I get a little taken aback, I will do my best to hold my composure.
     You may have known Pat as a coworker, fellow volunteer, or a friend. You may remember her as a petite, always classy dresser, who only came with a smile and always brought her great sense of humor. From Johnson High to Guardian Angels. NRCS to HSI. Barry Manilow to Bingo. One thing remains the same, Pat is unforgettable.
       When the gates of Heaven opened for my mom, I know her loved ones stood with open arms. She ran into their arms and they showed her the way to her brand new space. Knowing our great God, he set her up right next door to her sister and her parents, and he gave her the most up to date kitchen imaginable. She grabbed a cup of coffee, sat down with her sister and her mom, and caught them up on the latest and greatest gossip. She bragged about her daughters weddings and she told them how beautiful her granddaughters are. She told them about the fun and loved-filled life she has lived.
She spent the rest of her first day baking…a favorite past time of my mom’s. She made all of her classic desserts. She moved effortlessly around the kitchen. When Heaven threw my mom’s welcome party she came with hands-full for the potluck meal. Can you even imagine a potluck meal in heaven where everybody brings their signature dish? If I were to pick the menu, I am sure she walked in with her Veggie Pizza in one hand and her Mint Ice cream cake in another.
      When the party was over she headed back to rest. She grabbed a spot in the sun and she soaked up some of Heaven’s beautiful rays.
     She is at peace in a much better place.
     Heaven has gained one more great soul and we are left feeling a bit empty. However, she has earned every day of the endless sweet sunshine that she is going to enjoy. And when the sun shines on us, we will know that though we may not be together physically in one place, she is with us, by our sides in spirit, enjoying the moment with us.
Rest in everlasting sunlit peace mom, You are so loved and will be missed.

      We’ve all moved on through our days. Most days, I am less sad than the day before.  Memories of my mom, in her better days, have been flooding back to me, and I rest that she is filling me with these memories letting me know that all is okay for her now.  The world is a different place today than it was 2 weeks ago. I find it most hard to refer to her in the past tense as that is when it is hard to realize that this last step is final.  She isn’t just on a long vacation.  It hasn’t just been too long since I’ve last visited her at Norris Square.  Those are the toughest times…  But we carry on because as each day passes we are forced to.



Abbie said...

I am so sorry to hear about your loss. K said you did a wonderful job speaking at the service and I'm so glad you shared your words here. Simply amazing. Such a positive approach sharing her favorite things while thinking of them in the context of her first day in heaven. I can't imagine how much strength you needed to carry you through that day, very admirable. Sending warm thoughts your way.

Amanda Jean said...

Continuing to think of you and pray for you and your family, Kristie. As you talk about those moments...the ones where you go on only because the time keeps moving around you, where people around you in public have no idea that nothing is the same anymore...I remember. You didn't know me when I was in that season in my own life after Katie died, but you know me now and I'm no longer "faking it to make it" every day. It sounds so inconcieveable to even say out loud, but somehow, it really does get better. Grief isn't short-lived (in fact, I'm convinced it's life-long), but it does change and morph into something much more peaceful and liveable as you move through it, and in the process grows you somehow.

I wish you didn't have to feel that pain...that grief...but at the same time, I'm thankful both for your mom and for your family that she is no longer bound by the chains that her body was binding her, but is instead free to walk and run and dance and even make meatloaf with vegetable soup. <3

Grieve freely, friend. From all I've been told of her, she was a woman well worth grieving.

Giving you your space and time, but I miss you guys and would love to see you whenever you're ready. I'm not afraid of tears or memories...I'd love to make you a meal and bring you your big E. Let me know when the time is right.

Love you!